“The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.” -Joseph Stalin, Russian dictator.
We grieve and want to make needed changes when a Black man like George Floyd is killed, suffering for long minutes right before our eyes while law enforcement officers seem to be either unconcerned or intentionally cruel. And we are right to do that. But we seem unconcerned when Blacks are shot and killed in the thousands by other Blacks on a regular basis.
The dictator seems to have a point.
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
Today’s topic is going to be at least as controversial as abortion, which Revolution 2.0™ has tackled more than once. Let’s start with what “Black Lives Matter” means. Does it mean that:
- Black lives matter as much as any other lives?
- Black lives matter more than other lives?
- All Black lives matter?
- Black lives matter differently because of how many have been treated; racist treatment that while perhaps falling short of physical harm needs to be acknowledged and dealt with?
- Or perhaps something else?
I will begin my answer with the belief that the motto is intentionally vague. If the slogan was not intentionally left up to interpretation, why is there not more of a clear definition? If anyone claims that All Lives Matter or that Blue Lives Matter, they are slammed unmercifully, and risk losing their jobs or worse. Why? How on earth could it be that saying that All Lives Matter can in any way be controversial, much less cause such violent verbal and
physical reactions? Don’t all lives matter? The only rational explanation is that since racism does exist on a declining individual and group basis, that Black lives matter differently because they are the only group that has faced such deep-seated discrimination for so long, and we must complete the fix. I get that, and I agree. But there seems to be something more going on here–much more.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) as an organization wants us to believe and act on this explanation, while using the energy and momentum of the good people who accept that motivation to achieve deeper and far less noble goals. The founders, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi, are all avowed Marxists. This episode will not debate capitalism vs communism, but I will repeat what I have said before: Communism has destroyed far more economies and killed tens of millions of people more than both World Wars combined. BLM goals also include reparations, the end of cash bail, and defunding the police. And far, far more. And as any of their demands are met, they will immediately escalate, adding more demands.
Here’s what is written in the About section on the BLM site: “#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc. is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.” I am sure that is the truth and nothing but the truth, but not the whole truth. And to an earlier point, they are very selective in the part where they claim to be, “…combating and countering acts of violence…”
Let’s take a step back and look at the legitimate observation that Blacks, to our discredit, are often treated differently and worse than other ethnicities, including Whites. That is true, and the incidents are in decline. Here’s just one clear example of that decline. The 1939 Academy Award winning movie “Gone With The Wind” portrayed a deeply false and romanticized version of plantation life pre Civil War. Anyone who has seen that movie and knew nothing else about slavery would have come away believing that slavery, while wrong, was not all that bad. A short 38 years later, the hugely popular TV series “Roots” tore the cover off of that lie, portraying slavery as the vicious crime against humanity that it was.
The recognition of Juneteenth is another example. The 1863 Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery for all slaves–not even close. It was not until after the end of the Civil War that many slaves, in this case in Texas, were even informed about their freedom. On June 19, 1865, enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were finally told they were free. Now people in cities and towns across the U.S. continue to mark the occasion with celebrations. Independence Day is a national holiday; Juneteenth should be as well.
I want to be an effective part of ending the shameful remnants of racism. If that is BLM’s goal, then step up and state it clearly, and I will be supportive. If. If a main part of BLM’s ambition includes working to reduce overall Black killings, then step up and say that. If, again. But I don’t believe either for a second. In a rational world, we should care twice as much about a tragedy affecting 100 people as about one affecting 50. We ought to care 1,000 times as much when a tragedy involves 1,000 people rather than 1. Sadly, we do not live in a rational world. We live in a world of agendas posing as being rational, and BLM is a leading example.
I would happily support Black Lives Matter as a standalone movement, separate from All Lives Matter, if–and only if–it is a standalone label because it is used to recognize and address the remaining racism in our society. And that would be so easy for BLM to explain.
I support the claim that All Lives Matter, not as a retort or a comeback to Black Lives Matter, but as a statement of obvious truth. Said differently, Respect life. All life.
I support the belief that Blue Lives Matter. If you disagree, tell me which cops’ lives do not matter to you. Be specific; name names. “Say their names.”
Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty.
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple, Google, or Stitcher.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
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